ABOVE: Jennifer Smith recorded a video urging parents to attend a public school board meeting on Tuesday to support a public high school in Stittsville.
(press release & video via Stittsville Public High School Now)
Finally, it’s happened! The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has placed the building of a new public high school in Stittsville at the top of their priority funding list – however this does not mean the Ministry of Education will allocate the funds for this essential capital project. This is where we need the media and the public’s help.
The official approval of this capital funding priority list will occur next Tuesday, May 24 at 7:30 pm in the Boardroom at the OCDSB offices (133 Greenbank Rd. Nepean, K2H 6L3). While the need for a new public high school is well-understood locally, the Ministry of Education in Toronto needs to see community support for this issue beyond a business case. We are asking residents with children in the Stittsville community, especially those in elementary grades, to come out and sit in on the meeting to show their support. We want to emphasize that simply being present and visible in front of cameras and media at this meeting is all that is required, and will put pressure on the Ministry of Education through media coverage. Only one representative per household is needed, children are welcome and we are asking participants to wear red as a show of solidarity for this campaign.
The campaign to have a public high school built in Stittsville has been ongoing for almost 20 years. We are a fast-growing community, and the need to have a public school built in our community is essential. Currently students who wish to stay in the public education stream have no choice but to attend 60-year-old South Carleton High School in Richmond. Children are bused up to 20 km away, many are at the bus stop before 7 am, and most with a 45-minute to one hour bus ride each way. Due to the school’s rural location, only limited transportation is available during exams and for extra-curricular activities, meaning parents in Stittsville are largely responsible for transportation outside regular hours (a 40 minute round trip).